Jenn Rohm Reviews "The Trials of Sam Houston"
The world premiere of Aaron Loeb’s “The Trials of Sam Houston” is currently being hosted at the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, and it is both delightful and educational. Inspired by Loeb’s research after a moment early in Obama’s leadership when Congressman Joe Wilson yelled “You lie!”, it tells the story of a fateful night in 1861 on the eve of Texas’s secession through an interview with Jeff Hamilton. Hamilton himself was a slave, purchased by Houston in October of 1853 at the age of 13 who not only tended to Houston’s children, but he would become an office clerk, and even after Houston freed the slaves in 1862 he remained with the family. The story tells how Houston himself had to wrestle with the decision of secession and the ramifications that would occur no matter which path he chose.
The cast here has the task of telling these stories by playing multiple roles, playing historical figures such as Joseph and Mrs. Vance, Andrew Stevenson, John Quincy Adams, James K. Polk, Andrew Jackson, and Francis Scott Key. Even with this much going on, they pull it off but transferring from character to character seamlessly with little touches of costume additions and removal, mannerisms and voice to the point where I did not see the prior character after the changes happened. The set is well designed, taking the audience through multiple environments without there actually being any changes to the set. There is much to learn, enjoy, and be entertained here, so catch it here in Dallas before it’s final show on May 13th!